Monday, January 28, 2013

It's Almost Inconceivable That Anyone Decent Will Even Run For Georgia's Open Senate Seat


Georgia politicians talk about Chambliss, now that he's been driven to retirement by the threat of a Tea Party primary, as though he were a normal, distinguished senator of high stature. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who is being touted as a possible Democratic nominee for the seat refused to say if he would run but instead asked people to focus on Chambliss’s “many contributions to our state and nation rather than to focus on politics.” His former campaign manager, Democratic Party strategist Tharon Johnson, was even more disgusting: “Democrats need to take some time and allow this great senator to retire gracefully.” The best summary of Chambliss' most memorable achievements in life are highlighted in the video above. Not that Georgia Democrats are the only hypocrites moaning about the political demise of the great Saxby Chambliss. When he ran his smear campaign against Democratic incumbent Max Cleland, John McCain had said, "I'd never seen anything like that ad. Putting pictures of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden next to the picture of a man who left three limbs on the battlefield-- it's worse than disgraceful. It's reprehensible." Last week, when Chambliss fled the political battlefield to avoid chickens coming home to roost in the form of a challenge from the even further right than he is himself, McCain's response was a tweet:

Georgia Republicans, on the other hand, aren't wasting any time trampling Chambliss' stinking, still twitching body in their mad rush for the starting gate. Almost all the GOP House members say they'd like to run. Tom Price, a self-serving extremist ideologue who got caught up in an ethics investigation but got a get-out-of-jail-free pass in a deal that also let corrupt New York Democratic bribe taker Joe Crowley off the hook, told Chambliss he's running for sure. Price passes himself off as a medical doctor-- an anti-health care one-- but so do two other sociopathic Georgia congressmen determined to run for the seat, former drug addict and John Birch Society stalwart Paul Broun and pro-rape Republican Phil Gingrey. Already a guaranteed circus if it just stops there. But it doesn't.

Remember when Colbert used to do interviews with congressmen in a regular segment, Better Know A District? Back in 2008 he landed Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA). It was easily the best in the series but Comedy Central removed it from YouTube and the only place you can view it is on their own website, which rarely works. Masterpiece wasted. Here's a small piece of it below, although maybe you'll get lucky at the Comedy Central link.

The Hill terms the GOP rush for Chambliss' seat "a mad scramble... with nearly every major Republican in the state mulling a bid to replace him." Many seem to believe that ex-governors Sonny Perdue (R) and Roy Barnes (D), with statewide name recognition, have a better shot than any of the pygmy congressmen drooling over the upgrade.
“No matter what happens it's going to be a 10-person race,” said Chris Crawford, a spokesman for Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.). “There are a lot of folks, not just in the House delegation, looking at the seat, but some people in the state and businessmen who are self-funders.”

Crawford said the open seat is “an opportunity [Kingston] is interested in taking a look at.”

“It's an open process. Primaries are good and healthy, a lot of people are taking a look at it, and we'll see how it shakes out.”

From the pit of Hell
Reps. Tom Price (R-Ga.) and Paul Broun (R-Ga.) were mulling bids before Chambliss decided to retire; now that the senator has made it official, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) is considering a run as well. Georgia Republicans who have talked to Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) said he is eying the seat. Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) is interested in running statewide at some point, GOP sources say, though he may hold out for a later race.

“There are many experienced, conservative leaders in Georgia who would make a good U.S. Senator,” Westmoreland said in a statement. “Over the next several days and weeks my family, friends, supporters and I will determine if I am interested in being a part of that discussion."

"Dr. Price is thankful for the support and encouragement he has received,” said Price spokeswoman Ellen Carmichael. “He is speaking with a number of folks across the state of Georgia and listening to their observations and advice. He'll continue to listen and make a decision and announcement at the appropriate time.”

...Most of the potential candidates are solid fiscal and social conservatives, meaning the primary might hinge more on fundraising ability, name recognition and geography than Tea Party support.

Gingrey has the most campaign cash of the potential candidates from the House, with $1.9 million in the bank. Price has $1.6 million, Kingston has $1.1 million, Westmoreland has $450,000. Broun has less than $200,000, while Graves has less than $100,000 as of the last reporting period.

A crowded primary field will likely lead to a runoff election, as Georgia state law requires candidates to win 50 percent of the vote. Democrats believe they have a shot in the GOP-leaning state-- especially if the late-summer GOP primary turns bloody or nominates a weak candidate.
Stand up comic Herman Cain and notorious Georgia grifter Newt Gingrich has each already taken himself out of the race. So have reactionary Blue Dogs John Barrow and Jim Marshall. Funny how quiet Harold Ford, Jr. has been lately. My favorite thanks but no thanks came from Jimmy Carter's grandson, James Carter IV: "If nominated, I shall run to Mexico. If elected, I shall fight extradition." Blue America's favoite candidate is Michael Stipe, although I suspect he hasn't lived in Athens in a very long time.

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